default_eblnews.jpg

The Bridge party leader and Deputy Prime Minister Bozo Petrov has stated that following his proposal, Bridge deputies in the parliament, ministers and members of the party's National Council decided to support a vote of no confidence in the Deputy Prime Minister Tomislav Karamarko of the Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ).

The information about this decision made by the Bridge party was carried on the web portal of the Zagreb-based Vecernji List daily on Thursday.

Asked by the Jutarnji List daily, Petrov said that it would be advisable for Karamarko to step down due to his political responsibility and burden on the government stemming from "too strong connections" between businessman Josip Petrovic and a circle of people very close to Karamarko.

I have known that Josip Petrovic is a consultant for MOL, which I have found to be an unnatural connection given that Karamarko is the first Deputy Prime Minister. We don't have to be aware of any more detail  and we don't have to wait for the decision of the Conflict of Interest Commission, as available information shows clearly that there is (Karamarko's) political responsibility, Petrov said in an interview which the Jutarnji Daily will release in its print edition on Friday. 

The Conflict of Interest Commission has asked First Deputy Prime Minister Karamarko to present a written submission regarding the commission's decision to launch proceedings against him to determine whether he is in conflict of interest because of the business relationship between his wife's company and his friend Josip Petrovic, who is a consultant for the Hungarian MOL oil company.

Karamarko has to explain whether as a member of the government he participated in any discussion or decision making on the government's attitude and policies related to the arbitration procedures between Croatia and MOL, according to the Parliament's Conflict of Interest Commission which has launched a probe in Karamarko regarding the business relations between the Drimia company in which Karamarko's wife Ana owns 80% and the Peritus consulting firm owned by Josip Petrovic who at the same time has business relations with MOL.

Currently two arbitration proceedings are about the relations between Hungary's MOL and the Croatian government in the Croatian oil and gas group INA. One procedure was launched in November 2013 by MOL before the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes in Washington to determine whether the agreement with Croatia on gas business was being fulfilled. According to the agreement Croatia obliged to store, sell and purchase gas at market prices for a period of 15 years.

The second procedure was launched in January 2014 by Croatia against MOL before the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law seeking an annulment of a 2009 agreement which transferred management rights in Croatia's INA oil company to MOL.

Croatian Foreign Minister and HDZ official Miro Kovac said on Thursday that in the event that Bridge ministers in the current government supported the proposal for Karamarko's impeachment, this would mean that they took sides with the Opposition parties -- the SDP and the Croatian Pensioners' Party (HSU) -- that had already filed a motion for no confidence in Karamarko in the parliament.

It would be logical that our partners from the Bridge be on our side, Kovac said in an interview with the commercial RTL broadcaster.

The cabinet of PM Tihomir Oreskovic reportedly should take a position on the issue on Friday during its conference call. 

Latest news

Syrian opposition rules out future role for President al-Assad

The Syrian opposition said Friday it would not accept any role for President Bashar al-Assad in the future of the war-torn country, reacting to a recent US shift saying that removing al-Assad is no longer a priority for Washington.

Russian Army integrates breakaway forces of Georgian province

Parts of the small fighting forces of the Georgian breakaway province of South Ossetia have been placed under Russian military control, Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu said on Friday.

Czech Republic's Pilsner Urquell beer is now Japanese

Japanese brewing company Asahi completed its takeover of the Czech brewery Pilsner Urquell on Friday, Asahi said in a statement.

Judge approves 25-million-dollar settlement of Trump University case

A US district judge on Friday approved a 25-million-dollar settlement of lawsuits and state fraud allegations against Trump University, the US president's now-defunct business venture.

Former Thai premier Thaksin to junta on reconciliation: 'Cut me out'

Former Thai prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra on Friday announced that he is not interested in the junta-led reconciliation process, three days after the junta handed him a half-a-billion-dollar tax bill for his past business deal.

Dalic: We welcome possible deal between Agrokor and banks

The government welcomes the possibility of an agreement being concluded between the Agrokor food company and creditor banks, and the bill on vitally important companies is not a fallback plan but the result of the government's care for the overall economic and financial stability of Croatia, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Economy Martina Dalic told a press conference in Zagreb on Friday.

Croatia, China sign action plan for cooperation in agriculture

The Croatian and Chinese ministries of agriculture on Friday signed an action plan for cooperation in the field of agriculture for the period 2017-2018, the Croatian ministry said in a statement.

ZSE indices up, Agrokor shares in focus of investor interest

The Zagreb Stock Exchange (ZSE) indices on Friday rose by more than 1.8%, with stocks of the Agrokor food and retail concern being in the focus of investor interest again.

Berlin police defend handling of Berlin market attacker

Berlin police defended themselves on Friday against accusations that they stopped surveillance on Berlin Christmas market attacker despite knowing in June 2016 he was dangerous.

Croatia, creditors tailor emergency measures to save tottering giant

Croatia's tottering retail and food giant Agrokor reached an agreement with its creditors, putting its debts standby and allowing it to continue working during emergency restructuring, the Croatian branch of Austria's Erste Bank said Friday.

Agrokor's creditors say standstill agreement to go into force today

A standstill agreement regarding the Agrokor concern's existing financial obligations to banks will take effect on Friday, additional capital will be injected into the concern in the coming days and the concern will be actively restructured, which includes a change of its management, it was said on Friday after a meeting between Agrokor's suppliers and creditor banks.

Palestinians, UN slam Israel's new settlement plan

Palestinians, Israeli activists and the UN lambasted the government of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Friday, a day after it gave the go-ahead for the first new West Bank settlement in a quarter of a century.

South Sudan rebels release three abducted foreign oil workers

South Sudanese rebels have released three foreign engineers they abducted in early March in the oil-rich Upper Nile region, Foreign Affairs Ministry official Mawein Makol Arik said on Friday.

Turkish opposition: Imprisoned party chief has gone on hunger strike

The head of Turkey's pro-Kurdish opposition party has launched a hunger strike from prison.

European leagues threaten Champions League schedule clashes

The European Professional Football Leagues (EPFL) on Friday threatened schedule clashes on Champions League matchdays in an ongoing dispute with the governing body UEFA.

Danish court revokes citizenship of IS volunteer

A Danish appellate court on Friday stripped a man of his Danish citizenship for volunteering to fight for the extremist Islamic State in Syria.

Banks and Agrokor agree on key elements of standstill agreement

Member banks of the coordinating committee of financial creditors and representatives of the Agrokor food company have in principle agreed on key elements of a standstill agreement, which is expected to be signed later today, announcing changes in the company's management team, Erste Bank said in a statement on Friday afternoon.

Syrian man on trial in Sweden; mosque attack labelled terrorism

A Syrian man went on trial Friday in the southern Swedish city of Malmo, charged with terrorism and arson after an attack last year on a building used as an assembly hall by Shiite Muslims.